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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How to Decide if Braces are Right for You

Are braces worth the investment of time and money? What does the process of getting braces look like, and will it be the right choice for you or your children?

These are all common questions that are worth exploring before making this big investment. Below are answers to some of the top concerns people have about braces, and the factors you should consider before taking the plunge. (Remember, it’s not too late to work on your smile at any age! Close to half of orthodontic patients are adults looking to improve their smiles.)

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Benefits of Braces - The benefits of braces are extensive. Braces can help fix crowded, crooked teeth and a misaligned jaw. Fixing teeth and bite alignment helps prevent other long-term oral health problems as well, including tooth decay, gum disease, and joint pain.

Money - The cost of braces varies due to extent and length of treatment.  Use Brighter’s Price Checker tool to view the typical cost of braces in your area and select the provider who fits your budget. If your dental insurance doesn’t cover braces, Brighter can help there too. We save you an average of 50% on this procedure, versus what you’d pay walking off the street paying in cash.

Time - Braces are typically a large time commitment - usually averaging between one to three years. Are you ready to put in the time needed to improve your oral health and appearance? Most people who have completed their time wearing braces say that the time investment was well worth it. Consider braces an investment in your future well-being and confidence.

Appearance - You may be worried about how braces will affect how you look while you wear them. Luckily, there are many different types of braces that you can discuss with your doctor.

  • Metal Braces: Metal braces are traditional braces and are the most commonly used type of braces. Metal brackets are glued to the teeth and are the most visible in the mouth, but they are very effective at fixing teeth properly.

  • Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are less visible than metal braces and may be a good option for people looking for a more discrete look.

  • Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are attached to the back of your teeth, so they are minimally visible and may be the right choice for certain types of adjustments.

  • Invisible Braces: Invisible braces most commonly come in the form of a clear plastic tray, and are popular because they are less painful than traditional metal braces and don’t interfere as much with eating habits, as they can be removed before eating. They also don’t impact the appearance of the mouth as significantly.

Remember to consult your doctor as you consider investing in braces. They have the experience and insight to help you make the right decision for your health and budget!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dentistry and Sleep Habits – The Surprising Connection

It’s hard to imagine, but sleep and dental health are closely related! Read on to see what options are available to you to improve your sleep and oral health.

Snoring a problem in your household? Keeping your partner up at night? Dentists can fit you for an anti-snoring device. Anti-snoring devices help keep your tongue from blocking your airway, reducing noise. These devices also help adapt the position of the jaw to open the throat and prevent snoring. Snoring can prevent one or both parties from having an effective night’s rest, impacting other areas of their life including overall health, immune system, and job performance.
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Chronic snoring can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, a more serious condition that can be treated by a sleep apnea dentist. Sleep apnea causes breathing to become shallow or infrequent during sleep, and can be dangerous. There are many types of oral appliances available to improve sleep apnea, and are worth seeking out from a dentist if you suffer from this condition.

The act of sleeping itself is also essential to good oral health. During sleep, harmful bacteria are cleaned from the mouth and bloodstream, helping you maintain your overall health. A study revealed that among the most important factors impacting oral health, sleep was ranked second highest among factors affecting periodontal disease (after tobacco use). Those patients who reported 6 or fewer hours of sleep per night had more advanced disease.

While the connection between sleep and dental health isn’t obvious, it’s important! Make sure to visit a dentist if you have any concerns about your sleep patterns.